A pheromone outweighs temperature in influencing migration of sea lamprey

Royal Society Open Science
By: , and 



Organisms continuously acquire and process information from surrounding cues. While some cues complement one another in delivering more reliable information, others may provide conflicting information. How organisms extract and use reliable information from a multitude of cues is largely unknown. We examined movement decisions of sea lampreys (Petromyzon marinus L.) exposed to a conspecific and an environmental cue during pre-spawning migration. Specifically, we predicted that the mature male-released sex pheromone 3-keto petromyzonol sulfate (3kPZS) will outweigh the locomotor inhibiting effects of cold stream temperature (less than 15°C). Using large-scale stream bioassays, we found that 3kPZS elicits an increase (more than 40%) in upstream movement of pre-spawning lampreys when the water temperatures were below 15°C. Both warming temperatures and conspecific cues increase upstream movement when the water temperature rose above 15°C. These patterns define an interaction between abiotic and conspecific cues in modulating animal decision-making, providing an example of the hierarchy of contradictory information.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A pheromone outweighs temperature in influencing migration of sea lamprey
Series title Royal Society Open Science
DOI 10.1098/rsos.150009
Volume 2
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Royal Society Publishing
Publisher location London
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description 7 p.
First page 1
Last page 7
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details